WOOTTON Bassett have issued a heartfelt statement paying tribute to former manager Dave Turner.

The Shrivenham boss died suddenly in the early hours of Tuesday morning and multiple individuals have rallied round Turner’s family and friends in the wake of the tragedy, And Bassett, where Turner won two promotions and took the club further than it had ever been in the FA Cup and FA Vase, are no different.

The statement, issued by chairman Andy Walduck, read: “It’s with great regret that we find ourselves remembering the short life of Dave Turner.

“On behalf of Wootton Bassett Town committee, I would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Trisha, and sons, James and Alex. Our thoughts are with them all at this extremely sad time.

“Dave was devoted to football, giving five years to our club. We experienced the highs and the lows with him as our manager.

“At all times Dave would protect his players regardless, not frightened to confront an issue or to say his piece, only as Dave would.

“On occasions we would question his decision-making, but nine times out of 10 we were wrong and he was right. Dave was not scared to play someone new, blood them in, given them a chance. ‘If you’re good enough, age is no barrier’, he would say.

“The FA Cup run in 2012 was a fantastic achievement for Dave and his team. I remember the excitement within him and the team as they pushed aside sides from higher leagues, taking everything in his stride, even on our day out at Dorchester Town, which was a stunning achievement, something that will stay with the club beyond my tenure.

“Dave’s expectation on the day was not to let the club down and that was achieved. Dave’s ethos was carried through as he took players to this game who got him there even though there were greater-skilled players available.

“When the team was not performing as he expected, Dave would be quiet in the dugout but would get his point across in the changing room at half-time - on occasions a little blue!

“Dave will also be remembered for his banter in the local press, advertising the club and attempting to get a response from his opponents.

“There was never any malice - Dave would always share a drink with you after the game, win, lose or draw. Dave has developed many local players who will remember him for his dedication to the game and local football in general.

“Finally, Dave will be missed by all, specifically from within local football. Dave added to the history of our club which will never be forgotten.”

Bassett travel to Abingdon Town in the Hellenic League Premier Division tomorrow.